Mexico: PRI candidate declared winner, students protest

Mexico’s 2012 presidential election came to a close on Aug. 31 when the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch of the Republic (TEPJF) officially declared former México state governor Enrique Peña Nieto the winner of the July 1 vote. One day earlier the tribunal had dismissed charges by the coalition backing center-left candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador that Peña Nieto’s 6.62% lead over López Obrador was the result of fraud, vote buying and media manipulation by Peña Nieto’s centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Mexico’s ruling party from 1929 to 2000. (La Jornada, Mexico, Aug. 31, Sept. 1)

These results were expected, and #YoSoy132 (“I’m number 132”), the student movement that formed suddenly in the spring to oppose what its supporters called the “imposition” of the PRI candidate, had already planned a “funeral for democracy” to be held in Mexico City the afternoon of Aug. 31. Starting from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) campus, the protesters, some carrying cardboard coffins, marched through the city for about 10 km, tying up traffic at various points. About 5,000 people participated, far less than the estimated 50,000 protesters who came out for demonstrations against the PRI in the week after the July 1 vote. (LJ, Sept. 1)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 2.